Remnants—the pieces of fabric left over from other projects which you cut and shape, then sew to form a quilt.
My childhood friend Janis’s father Bob was my father’s best friend growing up. Their fathers had been best friends too, thus, it was no surprise that Janis and I spent parts of our youth together as well.
Janis lived with her grandmother for her first five years and then, uprooted, went to live with her father and new stepmother. After that I saw her only once a year or so, when she came to visit her grandmother for summer vacation.
From the time we were in the 4th grade on, we enjoyed ourselves while the adults talked by designing paper doll dresses and accessories out of paper toweling. Regular paper must have been in short supply so we created our special designs on this soft, bubbly paper. Did we color the dresses we drew? I don’t remember but I do know we made fabulous gowns for our Lennon Sisters paper dolls. Our girls had extravagant events to attend where they consorted with such handsome types as Ricky Nelson and Tony Dow. Many hours Janis and I spent on the front porch with blunt-nosed scissors creating lifestyles of the rich and famous.
Don’t you hate it when you make a mess, a horrible mess that needs immediate attention, and there’s no one to blame but yourself?
Not only do you have to take the time, energy, and resources to clean up, but you lose the self-righteous indignation mustered when someone else makes the mess.
I exploded tomato soup in the microwave. I heard a few pops but was not prepared for what I saw when I opened the door. I thought a blood-filled vein had exploded in there. I was sore afraid. Jackson Pollack would have been proud of my creation.
How best to clean it up, and clean it up I had to do, since the housekeeper was coming and it wouldn’t do to leave that for her to see. She might think it an exploded blood-filled vein, too, and call the cops. I couldn’t have that.
I began unrolling the paper towels, one, three, five, ten. I’ll start there. Here’s where the absorbency issue gets resolved. After 15 towel segments, the microwave was ready to be wiped out with soap and water. The revolving plate had to be washed off. Dried, replaced. Good as new.
I burned the evidence later in the burn barrel. I would not be responsible for a garbage collector’s shock at seeing those red paper towels upon opening the can lid. Lesson learned: for one cup of soup always use a four-cup measuring cup.
January and February are the worst months for me as the annual depression slides into place, my SAD Northern Light notwithstanding, and refuses to be shaken. These bad-weather months are when I should be able to take advantage of free hours I don’t have to work outside. A lot of things should get accomplished but these are also the months when I don’t feel like doing a damn thing. Even if I want to, I just can’t. My lists go undone.
This year besides the depression, I had anxiety so bad I needed medication and a flare-up of hiatal hernia hurtness so bad I couldn’t bend over or lift anything or breathe deeply. I take palliative steps, mind you, but that all takes time. Getting better doesn’t happen overnight.
This year, though, the universe was watching out for me, and I began to reap what I had sowed. Every few days gifts for no special reason came my way, gifts that showed I had friends who loved and cared for me. I had visits from family that included laughter and love. I started a new class that gave me hope. All those gifts helped me to wait knowing I was loved until I cycled back out into the light. Just what I needed.